Fonds de solidarité FTQ commits $29 mln to buy Maine forest land

The Fonds de solidarité FTQ has committed $29 million to acquire forest land in Maine along the Québec border. The investment, which will be managed by Solifor, a Fonds’ subsidiary, is intended to supply fibre for Québec sawmills and wood processors. Launched in 2005 to acquire and manage privately-owned forest land, Solifor has previously invested $140 million to buy over 153,000 hectares of forests in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Lotbinière, Charlevoix, Saguenay, Portneuf, Mauricie and Abitibi regions of Québec. It plans to make additional acquisitions in the future.

PRESS RELEASE

Beyond Borders: A New $29 Million Initiative by the Fonds de solidarité FTQ to Consolidate Forestry Jobs in Québec

Highlights
• $29 million in Solifor for the acquisition of forest land to ensure a secure supply for the Québec industry
• The investment is part of the Fonds’ new strategic orientations, made possible by the reinstatement of the federal tax credit
• Considered a sector of excellence, Québec’s forest products industry will be among the Fonds’ priorities for investments

Québec, May 11, 2016 – Speaking at the annual convention of the Québec Forest Industry Council (QFIC), Janie Béïque, Senior Vice-President of Industries, Entertainment and Consumer Goods at the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, announced a $29-million injection into the Fonds’ subsidiary Solifor for the acquisition of forest land in Maine along the Québec border in order to ensure a secure supply of fibre for Québec sawmills and wood processors.

“By classifying the forest sector as a sector of excellence, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ is showing its strong support of this key sector of the economy, its 160,000 workers and the many regions in which it is present. This $29 million investment, an innovative approach for our wood products sector, will go a long way to help create and maintain jobs in the industry,” said Ms. Béïque.

“Solifor has other acquisitions planned to further secure the supply of fibre for Québec companies and in so doing will remain a partner of choice for its forest industry,” added the president of Gestion Solifor, Raynald Arial.

To date, Solifor has invested $140 million to purchase over 153,000 hectares of forests in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Lotbinière, Charlevoix, Saguenay, Portneuf, Mauricie and Abitibi regions of Québec. This does not include the new acquisition announced today.

“We welcome this major investment which demonstrates the Fonds de solidarité FTQ’s commitment for the forest industry. Already a long-time partner of our sector, the Fonds has clearly made the choice to invest in an innovative and green industry of the future, which is also part of the solution to combat climate change,” pointed out QFIC president and chief execution officer André Tremblay.

“Quality log supply remains an issue for forest companies looking to continue their growth. With this new approach, companies such as Groupe Lebel and Maibec will be better prepared to seize market opportunities,” said for their part François Tardif, President of Maibec of Lévis, and Frédéric Lebel, President of Group Lebel of Rivière-du-Loup.

Strategic orientations and federal tax credit

The Fonds recently announced that it would invest $1.4 billion to increase its support of four key sectors of the economy: aerospace, agri-food, forest products and life sciences. Of this amount, $900 million is new capital, raised from the sale of some of the Fonds’ stock and bond holdings. With this new capital, which will be added to its annual investments, the Fonds will be injecting about $3 billion into the Québec economy by 2020.

The Fonds’ new strategic orientations were made possible by the recently announced reinstatement of the federal tax credit for labour-fund shareholders, as well as by the ongoing provincial tax credit.

About the Fonds de solidarité FTQ
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ helps drive our economy. With net assets of $11.2 billion as of November 30, 2015, the Fonds is a development capital fund that channels the savings of Quebecers into investments in all sectors of the economy to help create and maintain jobs and further Québec’s development. The Fonds is a partner, either directly or through its network members, in more than 2,550 companies. With over 600,000 shareholder-savers, the Fonds has helped create, maintain and protect more than 176,000 jobs. For more information, visit www.fondsftq.com.

About Solifor
Société de gestion d’actifs forestiers Solifor (“Solifor”) is a limited partnership created in 2005 by the Fonds de solidarité FTQ to acquire and manage privately-owned forest land.www.solifor.ca

About QFIC
With over 200 members, the QFIC is the voice of Québec’s forest industry. Québec’s forest industry generates $15.8 billion in business each year and close to $4 billion in wages and benefits, of which nearly $1.5 billion is returned to governments in the form of taxes paid by companies and workers. www.cifq.com

Information:

For media only:

Patrick McQuilken
Fonds de solidarité FTQ and Solifor
Telephone: 514 850-4835
Mobile: 514 703-5587
Email: pmcquilken@fondsftq.com
Mario St-Laurent
Québec Forest Industry Council (QFIC)
Telephone: 418 657-7916, extension 412
Email: mario.stlaurent@cifq.qc.ca

Photo courtesy of Maine.gov